Twenty years ago, when Estee Lauder co-created the famous pink ribbon to support breast cancer survivors, she dreamt of a world without breast cancer. Today we’re closer to cures, but at the time, many women diagnosed with breast cancer were terrified, even ashamed. Today, Estee’s efforts have dramatically increased the awareness and acceptance of breast cancer. Celebrities, like Olivia Newton John, Edie Falco, Melissa Etheridge, and Suzanne Somers, no longer hide a breast cancer diagnosis. They go public with it thanks in large part to Estee Lauder. Even the NFL is on board. It’s an ideal “Win.Win” promotion.
If you watched an NFL football game in early October, you saw the power of pink in action. “The league has done a phenomenal job of reaching out to and engaging new audiences,” said Stephen Master, VP of Nielsen’s sports group. And their efforts to embrace women are paying off big time. NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” ranked No. 4 in prime time among women 18-49 years old last year, behind only “American Idol” (Wednesday), “The Voice,” and “American Idol” (Thursday). The expression “football widows” seems to be going the way of buggy whips.
The Estee Lauder Company just launched its 19th year of supporting breast cancer programs. Their website this month features pink promotions like those shown above. But what drove Estee to sell her vision so aggressively when breast cancer discussion was taboo? She was a natural salesperson who loved to sell what she believed in, and her commitment to curing breast cancer was a driving force.
“If I believe in something I sell it, and I sell it hard.” – Estee Lauder
“I have never worked a day in my life without selling. If I believe in something, I sell it, and I sell it hard,” Estee Lauder proclaimed in the 1985 TV documentary, The Sweet Smell of Success. This applied to everything in her life, from co-founding the Estee Lauder Companies to launching the now famous pink ribbon to support breast cancer survivors.
As Maureen Case quoted recently in the Huffington Post, “Twenty years later, the importance of breast health and the knowledge that early detection saves lives is information that is far more prevalent and discussed regularly, thanks to Evelyn. She was relentless in her determination to spread breast cancer awareness to as many people as possible, in as many places as possible. She impacted countless women and men with her bold vision for a breast cancer-free world — this vision lives on in the hearts of so many, including my own.”
Pink Telemarketing Fund Raising
The pink ribbon is everywhere, from Duracell battery promotions at Home Depot above to Ticketmaster which is supporting Breast Cancer Awareness Month by giving 10 cents (up to $40K) for every NFL ticket sold in October. And coincidentally, just as I was finishing this blog last night, my phone rang and you’ll never guess who was making the call. It wasn’t Estee Lauder (she’s no longer with us). It was a female telemarketer soliciting donations to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Normally I hate these solicitations, but in this case I couldn’t get my credit card out fast enough. If you too would like to make a pledge, contact http://abcf.org/lend-your-support/individual-donations. You’ll feel good and you’ll help bring Estee Lauder’s dream closer to reality.